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Thread: Porcupines make good pets

  1. #1
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    Porcupines make good pets

    While researching my book, I reread Audubon's Quadrupeds.

    Bachman and Audubon kept many animals in captivity (including elk) so Audubon could paint them.

    Some, like flying squirrels, not surprisingly made good pets. But the porcupine was a surprise.

    Apparently, porcupine spines are harmless when the animal is not alarmed. The spines are flattened against the animals skin. Porcupines are affectionate and rub against peoples' legs, like cats, and there's no danger of getting stuck with the spines.

    The spines stand up when the animal is frightened.

    Audubon said they ate every kind of vegetable food, including apples, but liked bread best.
    Last edited by MordechaiGoodbuds; 01-31-2009 at 06:55 PM. Reason: comma

  2. #2
    ideas are floating where they will Stlight's Avatar
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    But think how often your cats or dogs are frightened for no clear reason. Mine go on alert when someone walks down the street. Rign the doorbell - freaking out here.

    On the other hand, porcupines might be less tense than dogs and cats. (I always thought the cats were tense until I got dogs.)

  3. #3
    A dark core to every cloud Clair Dickson's Avatar
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    Hey now, don't go spreading these sort of things about porcupines! Porcupines prefer misinformation.

    In fact, the quills are deadly. Stay away! Stay far away!!!

    (Want some fun-- click here. No ONE messes with porcupines.)




  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Interesting--I've never known anyone who kept a Porcupine as a pet. Seems unpredictable (with the spines)--could lead to injury for the owner or guests--and perhaps not completely practical as difficult to travel with or transport.
    Last edited by PaperTiger; 07-05-2009 at 12:15 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MordechaiGoodbuds View Post
    The spines stand up when the animal is frightened.
    Just hope your porcupine isn't sitting in your lap when someone slams the door.

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW Oberon's Avatar
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    I know porcupines. I lived with them in Wyoming, not as pets. My dog certainly knew them, to his distress, and he never learned. A face full of quills is no fun, for dog or owner. They're barbed, and work their way in. We sometimes had to pull them out from inside his cheeks, and once had to put him under to get them out of his throat. Also, they chew wood, even linoleum, apparently for salt or something, witness my mother's front porch. I once witnessed a mating, it sounded like a cat fight, and no wonder. The old one-liner: How do porcupines make love? Very carefully.
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  7. #7
    Sever your leg please. Canotila's Avatar
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    I imagine Audobons idea of a good pet might be a bit different than a member of the modern public.

    My cousin raised an orphan skunk once. They didn't lock her up or anything. She just roamed the farm like a farm cat, but she stayed very tame. They would open the door to let her in to eat, then open it again to let her out when she wanted out. She came by every day for years and loved sitting in their laps getting petted. She was never descented either, and they claim she never sprayed anybody or any other animal on the farm, including their dog (who she was raised with).

    I imagine the right porcupine might function similarly in the right environment. Probably wouldn't make the best pet for everybody, but the right porc for the right person could be wonderful for the two of them.

  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Crazystars's Avatar
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    Porcupines make good pets

    Nope I wouldnt tattoo.I have a 17 year old TB mare with a lip tattoo that is hardly readable. My cats are indoor only and the likelyhood of them getting out without someone noticing is super slim. All of my pets are chipped. Ive never lost a dog or cat in my life, knock on wood. I think tattooing can be a good idea, but there are so many better alternatives IMO.

  9. #9
    Disgruntled Scientist dgiharris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clair Dickson View Post
    Hey now, don't go spreading these sort of things about porcupines! Porcupines prefer misinformation.

    In fact, the quills are deadly. Stay away! Stay far away!!!

    (Want some fun-- click here. No ONE messes with porcupines.)
    yes, don't F**K with a porcupine.

    Seems some dogs have to learn the hard way though




    Incidentally, I saw a porcupine in the wild (during a military field exercise). It surprised me, much bigger than I expected, probably weighed around 30-40 lbs. But the most surprising thing was how calm it was, walked right past us and then it CLIMBED A TREE and went to sleep on a branch 30 ft in the air LOL.

    Mel...

  10. #10
    Sever your leg please. Canotila's Avatar
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    One time we were driving in the dark on a narrow dirt road when my friend slammed on the breaks. There was a huge porcupine just hanging out in the road. He spanned the whole width of the road, his nose to the end of his tail.

    My friend just honked the horn for a while, and we ended up sitting there for half an hour. We kept daring each other to go and poke him with a stick to get him moving....nobody was drunk enough to do it. lol!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Stlight View Post
    But think how often your cats or dogs are frightened for no clear reason. Mine go on alert when someone walks down the street. Rign the doorbell - freaking out here.
    On the other hand, porcupines might be less tense than dogs and cats. (I always thought the cats were tense until I got dogs.)
    I thought it was just my dog. The smallest thing sets him off and he starts bouncing off the walls. Let's not even talk about the doorbell. I swear the cat looks at him like he's crazy.

  12. #12
    Guinea pig in the laboratory of God timp67's Avatar
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    This is the BEST thread on AW! LOL.
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